Turkish religion officials rule out haram fatwa for protests
Malaysians will no longre gather to show their support for opposition parties after an Islamic body in the country issues a fatwa declaring anti-gov’t rallies haram. REUTERS photoAn Islamic body in Malaysia, the National Fatwa Committee, announced May 6 that it was not permissible for Muslims to participate in any rally intending to oust a government or cause disturbance in the country. However, a religious official in Turkey disagreed, saying it was a constitutional right for people to participate in protests.
“Rioting, causing disturbances and damaging public property are all forbidden by Islam. This also applies to any intention to topple an elected government by organizing such demonstrations,” the body’s Chairman Dr. Abdul Shukor Husin said.
“No one is exempt and no one should support any efforts that can cause harm, anxiety or unrest among Muslims to the point of the community becoming split. Especially if there is bloodshed,” he said.
Abdul Shukor also said that the committee viewed this issue seriously in light of “some Muslims resorting to rioting during street demonstrations, as happened in the federal capital on April 28,” the Malaysia star reported.Islam has “never called on its followers to resort to any action that could threaten people’s lives just to pursue a specific agenda,” the fatwa committee stated, adding that Muslims who participated in such demonstrations must repent.
More “useful discussion channels” could be implemented to practice democracy instead of protesting, Abdul Shukor said. An official from Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs Fatwa Board said the right to protest the government was given to people as a constitutional right in Turkey. However, the official also said that evil-minded and illegal actions were not permitted in Islam. “Any intention to incite society to malice is not lawful in Islam,” the official told the Daily News.